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Various Artists: I Never Meta Guitar (2010)

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Various Artists: I Never Meta Guitar How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

There are no fans of the guitar in today's creative music—they are better described as fanatics, or devotees. But then the guitar has always caused listeners to choose sides. I'm a fan of Jimmy Page and you, Pete Townshend—or do you prefer Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
to my Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Jim Hall
1930 - 2013
guitar
. John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin
b.1942
guitar
or Pete Cosey
Pete Cosey
Pete Cosey
1943 - 2012
guitar
? Some of these debates have, thankfully, carried on for years.

With a new century comes new names, and allegiances are redrawn as new techniques are introduced and thankfully new sounds created. Clean Feed Records asked avant-guitar legend Elliott Sharp
Elliott Sharp
Elliott Sharp
b.1951
guitar
to curate an album of today's guitar improvisers and technicians, some familiar names like Nels Cline
Nels Cline
Nels Cline
b.1956
guitar, electric
, Henry Kaiser
Henry Kaiser
Henry Kaiser
b.1952
guitar, electric
, and Noel Akchote, and others that are less well-known.

The hottest name in jazz guitar circles these days is Mary Halvorson—featured in bands led by Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
Anthony Braxton
b.1945
reeds
, Tom Rainey
Tom Rainey
Tom Rainey
b.1957
drums
, Taylor Ho Bynum
Taylor Ho Bynum
Taylor Ho Bynum
b.1975
cornet
and Tomas Fujiwara, her Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12, 2008) has been heavily celebrated by critics. Her rapid-fire note twisting has become a signature, and can be heard on "In Two Parts Missing." The word "slippery" also applies to Finnish/American guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim
Raoul Bjorkenheim
Raoul Bjorkenheim
b.1956
guitar
, perhaps known best for his Scorch Trio sound, which blends the intensity of rock with flights of free jazz. Here, he hints at the stratosphere, but contains his rock with a rolling electric viola.

Michael Gregory
Michael Gregory
Michael Gregory
b.1953
guitar
is the only musician here who doesn't perform solo, his Danish trio performing a swinging blues piece. Other players add overdubs and effects to create the sense of multiple players. Chicago Underground guitarist Jeff Parker
Jeff Parker
Jeff Parker

guitar
, for example, utilizes three guitars and varying effects and delays, to develop an understated and cerebral delivery of notes. Others also work with multiple instruments, such as Henry Kaiser
Henry Kaiser
Henry Kaiser
b.1952
guitar, electric
's five acoustic and one electric amalgamation, and Jean-François Pauvros' extended technique for two guitars.

Then there are the simple, no-effects guitarist Scott Fields
Scott Fields
Scott Fields
b.1957
guitar
and Janet Feder, and the pure sound of Brandon Ross
Brandon Ross
Brandon Ross

guitar
, with his banjo.

With I Never Meta Guitar , there are plenty of sounds to discover, from old and new favorite guitarists.

Track Listing: In Two Parts Missing; Act As If Nothing Ever Happened; Blame It On The Tonkori; Migrant Song; Heater; I Told You So; Joanna; Study for Hairpin and Hatbox; Until Iago Whispered; Storyteller (Ornette Coleman); Blue Blue; Buzkashi; Little Creatures; Coiled Malescense; The Day Rauschenberg Met de Kooning; Telemetry.

Personnel: Mary Halvorson: guitar; Jeff Parker: guitar; Henry Kaiser: guitar; Jean- François Pauvros: guitar; Janet Feder: baritone classical guitar; Raoul Björkenheim: electric viola da gamba; Noel Akchote: guitar; Nels Cline: guitar; Brandon Ross: 6 string banjo; Mike Cooper: guitar; Michael Gregory: guitar Niels Præstholm: contrabass; Kresten Osgood: drums; Scott Fields: guitar; Kazuhisa Uchihashi: guitar; Mick Barr: guitar; Gunnar Geisse: laptopguitar; Elliott Sharp: Koll 8-string guitarbass, timefactor delay.

Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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